Riverbend High School senior Rebecca Argueta remembers how tinkering with things around her home as a child piqued her curiosity for engineering.
“I always loved math and science and the cool thing is that my brother and I would always mess around with things we would find and fix things in the house and try to make them work,” says Argueta.
“You can learn a lot from kids...They open me to new ideas and new perspectives even though they are so little.”
While in robotics club her junior year at Riverbend, a teacher presented her with an opportunity to get involved with mentoring children at Engineering for Kids.
“He said they had an amazing program going on and they needed some volunteers. I said that I would be happy to work with kids. I did a mentorship camp with Engineering for Kids. It was four to five weeks, once a week. I started doing that and the kids were so great,” she says.
When the program ended, she wanted to stay involved. So she taught more camps which led Engineering for Kids to offer her a job.
“I’m currently working for them and I love what I do,” she says. “It’s a great way to get kids interested in math and science by getting them to learn and making it fun at the same time.”
For Argueta, the program’s mentor of the year, one of the biggest impacts of helping in the program has been the effect that the kids have had on expanding her thinking.
“I think you can learn a lot from a kids,” says Argueta. “They come up with crazy ideas and I’m like, ‘That’s a great idea! I never thought of that.’ Then we test it out and it ends up working. I feel like they open me to new ideas and new perspectives even though they are so little. I think Engineering for Kids is a great way for them to explore what they love doing.”
Argueta plans to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, this fall to study mechanical engineering.